The catastrophe, which gripped the world and shook the Russian government, will be revisited in the HBO documentary "Terror in Moscow," set to premiere on Oct. 23, the one-year anniversary of the incident.
The program will incorporate first-person interviews with survivors, recordings of cell phone calls from hostages, and actual video footage shot inside the theatre by a stagehand and by the terrorists themselves.
The gunmen raided the theatre on Oct. 23, 2002, during the second act of Nord-Ost, a popular Russian musical based on Veniamin Kaverin's novel, "Two Captains." They numbered 22 men and 19 veiled women wired with explosives. Throughout, the hostage-takers demanded an end to the war in Chechnya as a condition for the hostages' safety.
After pumping the theatre with an anesthetic gas, Russian forces entered on Oct. 26 and killed all the assailants. However, the seemingly successful rescue quickly turned to tragedy: the gas had proved lethal and 129 hostages died. No theatregoers were actually executed by the terrorists.
"Terror in Moscow" is produced and directed by Dan Reed; produced by Mark Franchetti; executive produced by George Carey; and narrated by Ian McShane.